The countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games continues: the flame has been lit, and the torch will be carried across Europe and then around Great Britain in the last weeks before proceedings kick off in earnest in London, at which point the capital is going to be one very, very busy place. Public transport will be under severe pressure. Road space will be at a premium.
Some may not be at work during Games shock horror
Problem is, the Government cannot force businesses to scale back work just because of the sports events near Stratford. So much in the Square Mile and Canary Wharf will carry on as before. But those who work in public service can be thus instructed, and so many civil servants are contemplating spending some of the Games period working from home.
But here the ability of the why-oh-why brigade to play both sides of the field comes into play. Had Whitehall staffers carried on coming into work every day, they would have got it in the neck for wasting valuable resources when they could have been more flexible and thought about all those visitors and their purchasing power. Instead, working from home has brought calls for mass sackings.
Subtlety of this kind has come today from the Mail’s resident Miserable Humourless Git (tm) Stephen Glover, who thunders “If Mr Cameron wants to show who's in charge, he should order those bone-idle Sir Humphrys to go to work during the Olympics”. They’re all lazy! They’ll spend seven weeks in front of the telly, or mowing the lawn, or walking the dog! So we don’t need them! Sack them all!
Will anyone in the private sector do the same? Glover does not tell. He doesn’t have to. His legendarily foul mouthed editor is not into factual analysis. So, to this end, the blatantly dishonest assertion that the empire could be run by just 4,000 public servants is trotted out (as Zelo Street readers will already know, this number is in reality around 50,000) as Francis Maude is name checked once more.
And, in reinforcement, Fat Eric also gets a mention, which is not such a good idea: Pickles is, after all, the one who got roundly booed on Question Time when he revealed that he had a second home – claimed from the taxpayer – despite living just 37 miles from London. Glover rants about “perks” – another pejorative and nasty use of a word just to do damage – while missing this.
Then he characteristically heaps abuse on the head of the Civil Service while accusing him of attempting to “clownishly pre-empt a Government White Paper” (yes, Stephen, and what White Paper would that be? Consultation does not equal White Paper), makes a fatuous Trade Union comparison, and otherwise recycles what already appeared in the Maily Telegraph.
It’s petulant rubbish, and moves the debate no further. No change there, then.